Maybe the Great Lakes are a Surfing Destination

Video evidence of the strange wonder of Great Lakes surfing


The Great Lakes are having something of a surfing moment. In the modern surf media’s quest to mine untapped veins of even the faintest hint of gold, they’ve uncovered a thriving, if hardscrabble surf scene along the shores of Lakes Michigan and Superior, and they’ve been shining a bright light on it in recent years.

This video, from Andrew Wyton, less concerned with the best waves the lakes produce, instead captures the weirdness and occasionally genuine surfability of the freshwater seas of the upper Midwest. The wave quality there can be surprisingly good, not necessarily plan-a-surf-trip there good, but definitely may-want-to-consider-packing-a-board good if a road trip to Minnesota beckons.

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Showing 4 comments
  • Tristan Campbell
    Reply

    This film is incredible!

  • Drew
    Reply

    Cool vid?
    Where are the kites?

  • Drew
    Reply

    My question mark after the word vid was not meant
    I enjoyed the video and the footage
    Just wondering about the wind sport folks and where they are?

    • G.G.S
      Reply

      I’ll take this one because I have a guess. The winds over the lake are often erratic as much as waves sometimes aren’t there. I’ve never seen a kite boarder waiting for wind. I’ve seen surfers sitting on boards in 4 inch surf basically willing a barge to go by for a wave for hours but fine with just sitting there.
      Seems to me in colder conditions it’d be hard to wear cold weather gear and adjust a kite/harness.

      I knew someone who likes to sail in Lake Michigan so maybe they aren’t kiteboarding they choose other activities.

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